fter heavy losses on both sides, the siege of the Southern Air Temple finally comes to an end with the defeat of the Empires’ southern army at the hands of the Lotus Alliance. The victory was in no small part due to the efforts of the Champions of the White Lotus and Avatar Jaraiya. After the battle, a one year cease fire has been put into effect and both sides are securing their positions and seeking new allies. Meanwhile, the Alliance is working with Omashu and the White Mantel in hunting down the Wolfbats and their spawn, as it threatens all nations equally. The champions must find a way to get through hostile territory, to the Northern Water Tribe, as the journal of Avatar Katsurik, the one who defeated the Wolfbats last time, was buried with him there. They have been given command of a private ship called the Jade Dragon. In the meantime, Jaraiya will be staying with the army to continue his training in Airbending, and then moving on to the Southern Water Tribe to begin his training in Waterbending.
Fow Bang Chow however, departs from the group here. He has his own mission, to establish a keep and raise a guild for the group. He plans to reunite at the Northern Water Tribe, but will take his own ship east then north through the Si Wong Desert.
As they group gathers their things and boards the ship, they are greeted by Captain Sulu. He is an older man, and was chosen by Rongo for his wisdom and experience. The captain, eager to get to sea before another storm, shows them to their quarters below deck. The group heads of to their rooms as the ship heads off. Swamped by thoughts of the battle, they don’t take much time to get to know the crew yet. Aumanil enjoys bonding with the snow leopard he saved, Atka, while Fang Po Po just tries to make sure Scylla from getting cramped up on the ship.
After a few weeks at sea, a few members of the group are approached by one of the sailors who goes by the nickname of Gamble. Gamble is a somewhat sketchy looking sailor who never ceases in his ability to make the crew chuckle. Gamble makes the group an offer, to try and answer a riddle, with a wager at stake. If they win, they get 4 of his possessions while if they cannot answer the riddle then they each must give him 50 gold, a steep price. Only Po-Po and Aumanil accept the offer. The riddle is “A ship has metal rungs 1ft apart, the water is at the fourth rung from the bottom, where will the water be when it rises 6ft”. And of course the Waterbender is able to answer the riddle, as he is well aware the boat will rise with the tides. As reward, they take a jade ring, a bag of dragon bone dice, a bundle of 4 dynamite, and a silver coin with heads on both sides. Just before handing over the goods, the sailor in the crows nest yells out an alarm just before the ship is slammed into and knocks everyone off their feet. “It’s Galora!!!” Angela and Rongo look over the port side and see a massive Dragon Turtle surface and expel a torrent of burning steam, singing most of the group. Aumanil and Fow quickly jump to and launch ranged projectiles at the reptile. Po-Po uses his Airbending to propel the sails into greater speeds. The Dragon Turtle, trying to keep up, begins climbing up the back of the ship. Talin and Rongo fight it in the back, but it manages to get a good bite on Rongo and then lets go. Po Po stops the ship and then jumps on Scylla, flying over and hitting the creature with sharp waves of condensed air. The creature, obviously not expecting such a resistance, lets go and dives into the waters. The group licks their wounds and makes their way back on deck, and make sure to remind Gamble about their winnings, much to his dismay, before heading off again.
After another week or so at sea, the ship comes to their destination, the coast a good 80 miles or so Northwest of Fong Lu Fortress. Now in enemy territory, the ship comes up in the cover of darkness and fog, and then the champions jump into the water and swim to shore, evading some Imperial beach patrols. Rongo has devised a plan to sneak across the plains of the White Mantel and then across the Great Divide to the sea. The ship will sneak along the waterways and rendezvous with them, hiding under the rouse of a merchant vessel in enemy waters. Scylla, obviously not very sneaky, stays with the ship. Having a domesticated low Dragon is not uncommon.
The group moves inland,remaining hidden in the mountain forests. After a few weeks, the weather lightens and is predominated by light rain and overcast sun. Before long they are near the edge of the mountains, and in the distance they see smoke rising from the treeline. Rongo decides to send Talin and Po Po to scout it out. Reaching the source, the two of them come to see a small village burning as Werewolf Spawn attack the people there. Po Po wants to jump to their defense, but Talin says it is not tactically sound and they should skirt the village, the three original Wolfbats are the primary targets. Quickly heading back, they relate the situation to Rongo who decides with Talin that they need to continue towards the primary target. They must stop the original threat. Reluctantly, the group averts the village.
Before long they near the end of the mountains and the terrain turns to rolling fields of wheat. They can see a moderate sized village in the distance, about 2 miles down the road, known as the Foothill Village, the first village in White Mantel territory. About halfway there are large hairy creatures running on all four legs. They can tell these are the same creatures from the village earlier, it seems a couple of them came this way… Running to the village, the group gets there about 10 minutes after the creatures. In the courtyard further up the street, they can see a group of men have gathered arms and are attempting to fight off some of the werewolves.
The group quickly jumps into actions and begin moving through the buildings, checking them for enemies as to not become flanked charging straight in. Atka uses her keen animal senses to alert Aumanil when a house has a Werewolf in it, and locates two creatures. One is in the back of the butcher shop, and the other feeding on a horse in the stable. Talin moves into the butcher shop to engage the werewolf there, while Po Po and Rongo move forward, and are startled by a Werewolf feeding in an alley to their right. The beast slams into the Airbender, knocking him over, but is quickly engaged by Rongo who gets its attention. Meanwhile, a Werewolf charges from another alley and engages Aumanil and his faithful leopard, Atka, who waists no time defending her master. Angela quickly lifts herself onto a column of water using the water Aumanil had gathered from some of the areas plants. From her perch, she freezes the water and then prepares to heal from afar. Talin is in pitched close quarter combat with the butcher shop werewolf now and doesn’t like how much of a beating it is able to take from his falchion. The group fights fiercely, and being very careful not to get bit, begins to lower the creatures numbers. Meanwhile, the militia has been mostly killed and the survivors barricade within the temple. In the distance Rongo can see White Mantel cavalry, notoriously deadly in melee combat, and orders the group to retreat before they get here. Their timing could not be better, as another dozen or so werewolves are running in from the wheat fields. As the fight their way out, Talin is bitten by a werewolf on the shoulder, just before he cuts it down. Alarmed, Aumanil and Angela quickly inspect the wound as soon as they get out of the village. Aumanil has seen the change before, and last time it seemed the virus took over the bodies cells completely and overtook the person. In Talin however, the virus is still spreading, but it seems to bond with his cells as if he had some sort of partial resistance. His cells don’t give completely to the virus. Whatever is happening, he is not turning… Talin relenquishes his weapons until they are sure and the group keeps a close eye on any change. Hearing the sounds of pitched battle back at the village, the group heads on across the planes and then on to the Great Divide.